Coming out of Spring Training, it was anyone’s guess as to what the Giants would bring out for their 25-man roster, and in the end, I remember there being a great deal of satisfaction within the Twitterverse (because our opinion matters… or something) of whom the Giants chose to be included when they flew down to Chase Field to begin the 2012 season, and that included Hector Sanchez, who was supposed to be Buster Posey‘s backup catcher. You know the story of how the team was very cautious with Posey this year, and how Brandon Belt was still going through his growing pains, setting up frequent debates of whether Sanchez should be starting, or whether Belt should be given his chance to try and become the 1B of the future that he was envisioned he could be. Hector though, did a pretty good job for his first full year in the big leagues as a backup catcher, and was better in terms of OPS+ in 2012 (95) than former backup catchers Chris Stewart (69 in 2011) and Eli Whiteside (89 in 2010) ever were in their tenure with SF. Now, Hector’s defense and receiving skills are still something to be worked on, as is his plate discipline, where he swung at 43.5% of pitches outside the zone (second on the team to only to Pablo Sandoval at 44.8%) it’s no wonder some people labeled him the “Baby Panda.” But the kid just turned 23 a month ago to the day, and while we may have heard there might have been calls on trading Hector from other clubs, he is a solid backup option behind Posey from the time being (and this is also a great learning experience for him to take in lessons from the current NL MVP). Here’s a video of him doing good things for the Giants:
In the end, I believe Hector will get traded, but not until he’s around 26-27 years old, so I expect him to be here a while, and that’s a good thing. While some teams are forced to hunt for over the hill catchers and pay them crazy money because it’s a premium position, the Giants are stocked with a catcher whose story is known throughout the galaxy, and maybe one of the best offensive backup catchers in the league. Not bad to not have a problem at a position that has so much influence over the game at the MLB level.